Two young housewives gave vent to their anger and frustration against the city police over a case against their husbands as they attempted to commit suicide outside the office of the Amritsar police commissioner, only to be saved by a couple of alert police constables.
The two women, Priya Kapoor and Kanishka Sarpal, in their early 30s, were sprinkling diesel on themselves from two bottles, when a couple of constables hurriedly jumped over the road divider and caught hold of the two, who were on the opposite side of the road. One of the women carried a match box.
As the cops, including lady constables, tried to control the wailing women, one of them fainted while the other kept hurling curses at the local police. Kanishka Sarpal, the woman who had fainted, was admitted to a private hospital and given first aid before being discharged.
Police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh, who was not in his office when the incident took place, was informed of the immolation attempt. He immediately rushed to his office and met some of the relatives of the two women and asked them to persuade the two not to take this step.
The women decided to take the extreme step to protest against the failure of the cops to provide them justice in a December 3 incident, involving a clash between two groups at a local marriage palace. The women were angry over the fact that the cops had booked their husbands and relatives in an attempt to murder case after the clash, but had not taken any action against the rival group, which consisted of a couple of advocates.
According to eye witnesses, a number of relatives of the two women were present at the spot but they made no attempt to intervene.
In fact, some of the media persons had been informed in advance of the plan of the two by Deepak Kapoor, who claimed to be a relative of one of the women.
"Our daughters are ending their lives as our families are being harassed and not being given justice. The cops have booked our relatives in an attempt to murder case but no action has been taken against the other party on our complaint. Raids are being conducted to nab us, the cops are under pressure as the other party consists of some advocates," he claimed.
The clash on December 3 took place during a marriage function after someone passed a lewd remark at a woman. In the clash, a local lawyer sustained injuries. A case under various sections including 307 of the IPC was registered against the husbands of Priya Kapoor and Kanishka Sarpal and 10 other relatives.
Thereafter the Amritsar Bar Association too came into the picture and resorted to dharnas demanding the arrest of those named in the FIR. The lawyers were sitting on a dharna outside the police commissioner's residence and left just a couple of minutes before the arrival of the two women.
The Kapoor family too had forwarded a complaint to the cops and had even met deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal here on last Friday and demanded justice. Badal had instructed Aulakh to inquire into the matter.
Aulakh told HT, "We have acted on the orders of the deputy CM and have inquired into the matter. We filed the status report of the case in court on Monday and have got section 307 IPC quashed. Perhaps the Kapoor and Sarpal families were not aware of this though they had been informed. We are acting on the complaint of the Kapoor family and after investigations will act against the other party".
Amritsar bar association secretary Mukesh Nanda described the suicide attempt as a "drama enacted jointly by the police and the two women. The entire show was pre-planned".
He demanded that an attempt to suicide case be registered against the two women.
"It is still a cognisable offence till Parliament amends the said clause in the law. A case should be registered and the two women should be arrested," he added.